Other lights

The resolving power of an optical instrument is ultimately limited by diffraction. The angular resolution, a measure of the minimum size of objects that can be resolved, is limited by the wavelength of the radiation and the size of the aperture. For light-emitting and light-reflecting objects, the only parameter that can be changed by more than a factor of 2 is the size of the aperture.

The Large Binocular Telescope at Mount Graham, Arizona, which 'saw first light' in October 2006, has twin 8.4 m mirrors, mounted to give an equivalent aperture of 22.8 m. This is currently the best instrument for looking at distant light-emitting astronomical objects.

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